There is nothing Jesus can’t heal

There is nothing Jesus can’t heal

Mark 1:40-45

There is no situation in this world where you are not loved entirely, deeply, profoundly, awesomely by Jesus Christ.

[automatically transcribed]

In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen

Yet more scripture this week from Mark about how Jesus was different, different in his teaching, different in his healing, different in his approach to everything that you would expect of a rabbi of the time. Before I get into the meat of the sermon today, I want you to understand just how disgusting and horrible leprosy was at this time.

So I’ve got I’ve got an account here of of leprosy and its symptoms. And there are three kinds of leprosy. The first is called Nodular Leprosy. Let me read this to you. It begins with unaccountable lethargy and pains in the joints. Then there appear on the body, especially on the back, symmetrical, discolored patches on them little nodules form at first pink and then turning brown. The skin is thickened. The nodules gather especially in the folds of the cheek, the nose, the lips and the forehead.

The whole appearance of the face is changed until the afflicted person loses all human appearance and looks, as the ancients said, like a lion or a satyr. The nodules grow larger and larger. They ulcerate. And from them comes a foul discharge. The eyebrows fall out, the eyes become staring, the voice becomes hoarse, and the breath wheezes because of the ulceration of the vocal cords, the hands and the feet also ulcerate. Slowly, the sufferer becomes a mass of ulcerated growth.

Slowly the sufferer becomes a mass of ulcerated growth, the average course of the disease is nine years and in the end it leads to mental decay, to coma and then death. Those suffering from this type of leprosy become utterly repulsive both to themselves and to others. The second kind of leprosy is called anaesthetic leprosy, and this is where you start to lose feeling all your your nerves, stop working.

But the most common form of leprosy is where you get both of those sets of symptoms. So you have the physical distress, you have the physical ailments, you have the mental ailment. And then you also have the loss of feeling. And of course, that’s what leads to people losing limbs and legs and arms and that kind of stuff. So it’s physically just absolutely horrible. So the people of the time who suffered with this and who reacted to this, I just I just want you to understand the sheer disgust that the vast majority of the population held these lepers, lepers were sent to leper colonies, they were sent to special hospitals called lazars, where they had to hide away, they weren’t allowed to look outside except through something called a leper’s slot where they could peer outside and see the outside world. They weren’t allowed to approach anybody. They weren’t allowed to talk to anybody. They were disgusting physically and mentally and to the whole of society. And so it’s outrageous, absolutely outrageous that this leper should approach Jesus.

It’s just beyond comprehension. It’s beyond it’s just trying to understand, A – how this leper got near Jesus in the first place. So that’s the first thing to think about. What that suggests to me is that the disciples are finally starting to understand that to Jesus, nobody is beyond the pale. Nobody is too far gone for redemption. Nobody is unapproachable in his eyes. To Jesus we are all approachable.

We are all wonderful in creation. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or what we suffer with how unacceptable we may be to the rest of society. We can go to Jesus, and when we feel like that, when we think that perhaps we’ve done something that’s just unbelievably unacceptable, that we can’t even approach Jesus the scripture tells us this gospel tells us you can approach Jesus. But in that in the mind, in your head, you must be thinking to yourself.

Well, will Jesus even want me? I’m so unworthy, I’ve done all of these things wrong. Society hates me. Will Jesus even want me? Yes Jesus wants you. Yes, Jesus wants to heal you, and you can almost hear the reproach in Jesus voice when he says, of course I want to heal you. The un-muttered next line. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I want to heal you? Of course I want to heal you. And Jesus reaches out and heals the leper immediately.

If you’ve got one of those signs of healing’s, again, it’s powerful. Of course. I want to heal you. And what does Jesus tell him? The same thing the Jesus tells all those people that he’s healed. Don’t go tell people, don’t go showing off about this. Don’t go boasting about this boast only in the Lord. But go now, go to the temple and be made clean.

Now, in this time, what this meant, if you suffered from leprosy, in fact, if you suffered from any kind of skin condition that might even slightly look like leprosy, you were declared dead.

In fact, there was a service that happened where the priest would pray your funeral over you. You were a dead man walking already. And so if you were healed of leprosy. There was this complex ritual you had to go to to become real again in the eyes of society. Now, Jesus didn’t say don’t go do that. All of that is tosh what Jesus said was, go and do that. And his message remains clear today. We have to engage with the human world if we’ve done something so terrible and so wrong that we don’t think that Jesus will heal us and then we come to Jesus and are healed.

We must face up to the consequences of those things that we’ve done in society and deal with the human world to be accepted once again. But you’re not doing it on your own. This time you’re doing it healed by the love of Jesus Christ. And in this one short gospel, Jesus shows us his compassion, his power and his wisdom.

There is nothing for which you cannot turn to Jesus and seek to be healed. There is no situation in which Jesus will not reach out to you and heal you.

There is no situation in this world where you are not loved entirely, deeply, profoundly, awesomely by Jesus Christ.